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Top 10 Things to Do in Clare



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There’s so much to love about county Clare — from the incredible coastline along the Cliffs of Moher, to the geological wonder of the Burren and Lahinch, the surfer’s paradise. After staying safe at home for many months, Clare is somewhere to both lose and find yourself.

Irish people love getting away to The Banner County for a break. Here are 10 good reasons why.

 
  • The Cliffs of Moher at dusk
  • Surfing lessons at Lahinch
  • Burren National Park
 

1. The Cliffs of Moher

When you think of Clare you probably think of the Cliffs of Moher looming 700 feet above the crashing Atlantic along 8km of rugged, unspoiled coastline. Whether you tackle one of the coastal walking routes or make a quick pitstop to see this natural masterpiece, a visit should be high on your list.

2. Lahinch Beach

A short drive from the cliffs, Lahinch Beach’s famed flooding tide makes it ideal for surfing, sea kayaking and kite surfing. Seasoned surfers travel here from all over the world, but beginners can sign up for lessons at one of the many local surf schools.
 
If you prefer gazing out over Atlantic waves to catching them, book a table at Barrtrá, a whitewashed country cottage overlooking Liscannor Bay that serves up some of the best seafood and steak in the county — try the mussels.

Learning to surf in County Clare

3. The Burren National Park

Heading inland, the 1,500 hectare Burren National Park is open all year round and free to access, but it’s worth booking a guided walk. Primary school lessons about the iconic limestone pavement and the many rare species of flora and fauna are sure to come flooding back.

4. Fanore Beach

 Afterwards, head back to the coast towards Fanore Beach. The unspoiled stretch of sand sits alongside broad dunes with the rocky Burren as its backdrop — it doesn’t get much more picturesque than this.

5. The Burren Food Trail

While you’re in the area, check out the Burren Food Trail, a selection of curated gastronomical expeditions with themes like Farm to Fork and Taste the Ocean. Stop at every point, or dip in and out along the way. Weekly 'Taste the Burren' events take place from May to November, where you’ll meet the makers, taste great local produce and dine with locals.

6. Golfing in Clare

World-class scenery makes for some pretty spectacular golf. From the stunning natural terrain at Lahinch Golf Club’s ‘Old Course’, to the idyllic crescent beach at Doonbeg Golf Club, with Atlantic views on almost all of its 18 holes, a round on this landscape is always a good idea.

People golfing at Lahinch Golf Club with sea and strand view behind them

7. Aillwee & doolin caves

Of course, Clare is also home to two of the country’s most famous caves. The tour at Aillwee Cave (AKA The Very Dark Caves from that Father Ted episode) takes you through winding passages and chasms, past fascinating rock formations and even an underground waterfall. Half an hour away in Doolin Cave, you’ll see the biggest stalactite in Europe — do you remember which one is which?

8. Mountshannon

Hidden away on the shores of Lough Derg, Mountshannon in East Clare is a good tip if you’re after a road slightly less travelled. A popular stop off for Shannon cruisers, the village overlooks a quaint harbour and boasts stunning views of Lough Derg’s many islands. Take a short trip to Inis Cealtra (or Holy Island) just 2km offshore where you’ll find an ancient stone with a hole in it, through which lovers hold hands and promise to be forever true.

9. Scattery Island

Heading south, a 30-minute boat ride from Kilrush brings you to historic Scattery Island in the Shannon Estuary. You’ll hear all about the Viking raids and battles that took place on the island during your walking tour of the monastic settlement, which boasts the highest round tower in Ireland.

10. The Shannon Ferry from Clare to Kerry

We hate to see you go, but if you fancy a day trip to the Kingdom, the Shannon Ferry is the most scenic shortcut you’ll ever take. Breathe in Atlantic air and epic sea views, keeping a close eye out for dolphins, as you and your car sail from Killimer near Kilrush, across the Shannon Estuary to Tarbert, in just 20 minutes.

Planning a trip to Clare

Now is the perfect time to make a break for a few days away in Clare. As you travel, you'll be aware that social distancing and safe travel measures will be in place everywhere you go — as explained in the new nationwide COVID-19 Safety Charter. And be sure to contact individual attractions and businesses to confirm they're welcoming visitors again.

After you take a closer look at Clare, it's time to start thinking about what you'll discover next on the Wild Atlantic Way. Want to go further afield? Find out more about how to make a break for other regions of our amazing island...

 

IRELAND HAS NEVER FELT BIGGER

It's finally time to pack your bags and make your escape


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